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Cloud computing explained for your little ones

By Dhrubaa Ghosh,

Cloud computing is a concept where information is placed on servers and sent to connected devices.

‘Cloud’ refers to the internet, because it’s dependent on satellite and tower based networks, so your data goes literally ‘up in the clouds’.

Digital technology is a part of daily life for all, including children. While they are more gadget savvy than most adults, kids do not understand a lot of common terms they hear all the time. We will try to explain some of them as simply as possible. Today, we’ll try to simplify the concept of cloud computing so that your child can comprehend what it means.  

What is cloud computing?  
According to the IEEE, cloud computing is a concept where information is placed on servers and sent over the internet to devices that can be connected, such as computers, laptops, handheld gadgets and sensors. Handheld gadgets, again, include mobiles, tablets, smart speakers, modem storage and any other smart device you use via internet. ‘Cloud’ refers to the internet, because it’s dependent on satellite and tower based networks, so your data goes literally ‘up in the clouds’. Another point: while you know your data is saved somewhere, you don’t know exactly where the storage is located or how the whole mechanism works, and the details of are ‘clouded over’ for users.  

Does anything else work like this?  
Yes, it’s like the way in which electricity is sent to users. We simply use electricity that is sent to us and do not need to worry where the electricity is generated, how that happens and how it reaches us. Every month, we pay only for what we use across multiple electrical devices, and that is all that happens between the provider and us. The idea behind cloud computing is similar. The user simply uses storage, computing functions, or work development environments, without having to worry about what goes on behind the scenes. 

Common examples of cloud computing  
Most of us use cloud computing almost all day long, without even thinking about it. When you type a query into Google, the computer or mobile isn't playing much part in finding the answers, it's no more than a hardware device. The words you type are travelling swiftly over the internet to one of Google's hundreds of thousands of clustered computer networks, digging out your results and sending them back to you – in less than a second. The same applies to email, chat, social media, online apps, online banking, OTT content – whew – almost everything you love using!  

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